After graduation, I moved to Edmonton for my Master’s in English Literature. While there I focused heavily on feminist avant garde writers and post colonial literature. While working on my MA I got a research assistantship working on the Orlando Project which is an online cultural history and textbase of women writers from the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present. Doing research and fact checking for this database I realized that my passion was in librarianship.
After completing my MA, I took a couple years off and then returned to the University of Alberta for my Master’s of Library and Information Science. While there my focus was on service to marginalized communities. I was one of the co-chairs of the student group “Future Librarians for Intellectual Freedom.” I participated and planned “Freedom to Read Week” and was one of the organizers of the “Community Bookshelf” which distributes donated books to various inner city organizations and at events such as “Homeless Connect.” I was also a member of the Greater Edmonton Library Association’s Women’s Prison Library and Reintegration Project that focused on providing library services to women in the Edmonton Institution for Women.
After graduation I was awarded an Internship at the Smithsonian’s Archive Center at the American History Museum. I worked in Washington D.C. for two months on various projects including reference and research, organizing a small collection and digitizing various collections. After returning from D.C., I moved to Ottawa and am currently working at the Bank of Canada as a reference and research librarian.
I plan on continuing my work with marginalized communities as a public librarian, preferably in some kind of community librarian role, but for now it is nice to increase my knowledge and gain experience in a vairety of library settings. So yes, I do think my Women’s Studies education has had a huge impact on my career path.
-- Julie Ruel, BA – English Literature University of Windsor (2004)
BA – Women’s Studies, University of Windsor (2005)
MA – English Literature, University of Alberta (2006)
MLIS (Master’s of Library and Information Studies), University of Alberta (2010)